Prime Minister John Howard announced he will testify Thursday at an inquiry into allegations that Australia's wheat exporter paid millions of dollars in kickbacks to Saddam Hussein.
"The Cole Commission of Inquiry has requested that I appear at its hearings," Howard said in a statement on Wednesday. "As I have said previously, I am happy to do so."
Foreign Minister Alexander Downer on Tuesday became the second minister to appear before an independent inquiry being chaired by retired judge Terence Cole which is examining whether the Australian Wheat Board, the monopoly exporter now known as AWB Ltd., paid US$220 million ( Ђ 180 million) in kickbacks to Saddam under the U.N.'s oil-for-food program, reports the AP.
The Russian missile cruiser Varyag, which is currently staying in the waters of the Mediterranean Sea, blocked the US Navy aircraft carrier strike group in the Adriatic Sea